Fisheries Lake Survey

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Name: Indian

Nearest Town: Round Lake
Primary County: Nobles
Survey Date: 06/02/2014
Inventory Number: 53000700
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Public Access Information

Ownership Type Description
County Concrete
DNR Concrete

Lake Characteristics

Lake Area (acres): 197.22
Littoral Area (acres): 197.21
Maximum Depth (ft): 6
Water Clarity (ft): 1.9

Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A
Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A
Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): N/A

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Fish Sampled for the 2014 Survey Year


Gear Used

Number of fish per net

Average Fish Weight (lbs)

Normal Range (lbs)


Normal Range

Bigmouth Buffalo Trap net 0.25 0.2 - 1.0 4.89 2.6 - 5.8
Gill net 3.33 0.8 - 7.0 5.87 N/A
Black Bullhead Trap net 2.75 11.5 - 132.6 0.94 0.2 - 0.4
Gill net 5.67 30.3 - 150.6 0.91 0.2 - 0.4
Black Crappie Trap net 0.38 1.2 - 20.5 1.26 0.2 - 0.5
Gill net 1.00 1.4 - 13.8 0.23 0.2 - 0.4
Channel Catfish Gill net 0.33 N/A 8.05 N/A
Common Carp Trap net 1.75 1.0 - 5.5 10.31 1.4 - 4.6
Gill net 3.33 1.0 - 13.8 5.27 0.8 - 3.7
Freshwater Drum Trap net 0.38 0.2 - 3.3 0.05 0.3 - 1.0
Gill net 5.67 0.5 - 8.3 1.59 0.4 - 1.7
Walleye Trap net 1.12 0.5 - 3.0 0.17 0.8 - 2.3
Gill net 2.67 2.3 - 18.1 1.66 1.0 - 2.3
White Crappie Trap net 18.12 0.3 - 6.0 0.56 0.3 - 0.6
Gill net 2.00 0.5 - 8.4 0.33 0.2 - 0.3
White Sucker Trap net 1.62 0.3 - 2.6 2.43 1.0 - 2.0
Gill net 4.33 0.8 - 6.5 2.29 0.9 - 2.0
Yellow Perch Trap net 0.62 0.3 - 3.8 0.46 0.1 - 0.3
Gill net 5.00 2.7 - 25.0 0.38 0.1 - 0.3
Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2014 Survey Year

Species Number of fish caught in each category (inches)
0-5 6-8 9-11 12-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30+ Total
bigmouth buffalo 0 2 0 0 3 5 2 0 12
black bullhead 0 0 30 8 0 0 0 0 38
black crappie 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 6
channel catfish 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
common carp 0 4 2 0 0 1 13 4 24
freshwater drum 4 0 1 5 10 0 0 0 20
walleye 0 7 1 0 6 1 0 0 15
white crappie 10 15 111 9 0 0 0 0 145
white sucker 0 0 0 1 24 1 0 0 26
yellow perch 0 6 13 0 0 0 0 0 19

For the record, the largest Flathead Catfish taken in Minnesota weighed 70 lbs. and was caught:

    Where: St. Croix River
    When: 1970

Fish Stocking Activity

Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

Year Species Size Number Pounds
2014 northern pike fingerlings 2,350 18.5
2013 Largemouth Bass fingerlings 97 10.0
  Walleye fingerlings 2,737 119.0
  Walleye fingerlings 2,016 84.0
2011 Northern Pike fingerlings 2,040 8.9
  Walleye fingerlings 5,086 208.7
2009 Walleye fingerlings 5,652 204.0
2008 Northern Pike fingerlings 3,005 17.2
2006 Walleye1 fingerlings 2,958 204.0
2005 Northern Pike fingerlings 2,052 30.6

Stocking Notes
1 - indicates fish purchased and stocked by private citizens and sporting groups.
2 - indicates fish purchased by the DNR for stocking.

Stocking Fish Sizes
Fry - Newly hatched fish that are ready to be stocked usually called "swim-ups". Walleye fry are 1/3 of an inch or around 8 mm.
Fingerling - Fingerlings are one to six months old and can range from a size of one to twelve inches depending on the species. Walleye fingerlings range from three to eight inches each fall.
Yearling - Yearling fish are at least one year old. A one-year-old fish can range from three to twenty inches depending on the species. Walleye yearlings average from six to twelve inches.
Adult - Adult fish are fish that have reached maturity. Depending on the species, maturity can be reached at two years of age. Walleye reach maturity between the ages of four and six years.

Fish Consumption Guidelines

No fish consumption guidelines are available for this lake. For more information, see the "Fish Consumption Advice" pages at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Status of the Fishery (as of 06/02/2014)

INTRODUCTION Indian Lake is a 204-acre lake located two miles to the southwest of the City of Round Lake in Nobles County. Indian Lake has a maximum depth of 6.0 ft. and a watershed to lake ratio of 38:1 which means that for every 1 acre of water on the lake there is 38 acres of upland drainage. Indian Lake has a relatively large watershed. Runoff from surrounding agricultural fields has resulted in poor water quality in Indian Lake, as indicated by a Secchi depth of 1.9 feet. Despite its shallowness, Indian Lake rarely experiences low dissolved oxygen levels in the winter which has allowed a diverse fish community to establish. Indian Lake is managed primarily for black and white crappie, and secondarily for walleye and northern pike. The crappie populations have sustained themselves through natural reproduction, but walleye and northern pike are stocked to maintain populations. Walleye fingerlings are stocked every other year (2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015) and northern pike fingerlings are stocked every third year (2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017). A population assessment was conducted during the week of June 2, 2014 to monitor the fish community in Indian Lake.

WHITE CRAPPIE Over the past decade, the white crappie population has been stable, as variation in catch rates has been minimal (25.1 per trap net in 2004, 22.9 per trap net in 2010, and 18.1 per trap net in 2014). Prior to 2004, catch rates were highly variable ranging from 5.5 per trap net in 1996 to 107.4 per trap net in 2000. The catch rate of 18.1 per trap net in 2014 is much greater than what would be expected in lakes similar to Indian. The majority (74 percent) of the white crappie sampled were from 9.0 to 10.5 inches in length. Overall, lengths ranged from 4.1 to 15.0 inches and averaged 9.6 inches. White crappies were plump, indicating that prey is readily available. Indian Lake has the potential to produce large white crappies, as evidenced by the sampling of 9 fish over 12 inches, with one of those being 15 inches.

BLACK CRAPPIE Black crappie abundance has been highly variable in Indian Lake, ranging from 0.4 per trap net in 2014 to 19.3 per trap net in 2000. The 2014 catch rate of 0.4 per trap net is well below the long term average of 9.0 per trap net, and is below what would be expected in similar lakes. The low abundance of black crappies in Indian Lake may be a result of the high abundance of white crappies. The two species of crappies can coexist, but one of the species usually will occur at a lower abundance. The three black crappies that were captured in trap nets were large, ranging in length from 12.8 to 13.5 inches and averaging 13.3 inches. The gill net catch of black crappie indicated the presence of additional year classes, as gill netted crappies ranged from 4.4 to 9.7 inches and averaged 6.8 inches. Crappies were plump indicating that prey is readily available. Black crappies are present at low numbers in this system, but the angler can expect the size of black crappies to be large.

WALLEYE In 2014, walleyes were captured at rate of 2.7 per gill net, which is within the historic range of catch rates (1.7 per gill net in 2010 to 17.7 per gill net in 2010) , and within the expected range of catch rates for similar lakes (2.3 to 18.1 per gill net). The 2014 catch rate is at the low end of expected catch rates, indicating a low abundance population. Walleyes from gill nets ranged in length from 10.1 to 21.1 inches and averaged 16.3 inches. Walleyes captured in trap nets were smaller, ranging from 6.9 to 8.5 inches and averaging 7.5 inches. Three year classes of walleyes were sampled (age-1, age-3, and age-5), all corresponding to years that fingerlings were stocked (2013, 2011, and 2009). This indicates that natural reproduction is rare in Indian Lake and that the walleye population is maintained by stocking. Mean back-calculated lengths at age were 8.2 inches for age-1, 13.2 inches for age-2, 15.4 inches for age-3, 17.9 inches for age-4, and 19.3 inches for age-5, indicating slow growth for ages 1 to 3 and faster growth for ages 4 and 5, when compared to average values of mean length at age for similar lakes. Walleyes sampled corresponded to each stocking event, suggesting that fingerling stocking is somewhat successful in keeping multiple year classes present in this system. The current stocking regime will likely continue, as strong year classes that have occurred in the past have been the result of fingerling stocking. In addition, walleye fingerling stocking is the most successful strategy when an abundant crappie population is present.

NORTHERN PIKE Stocking of northern pike fingerlings has occurred every three years since 2005 in Indian Lake (2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014). Despite stocking efforts, zero northern pike were captured in 2014, which is the lowest catch rate observed since surveys began on Indian Lake in 1987. Prior to the beginning of stocking in 2005, northern pike catch rates were higher at 4.5, 6.0, 2.7, and 3.3 per gill net in 1987, 1996, 2000, and 2004, respectively. The higher catch rates prior to stocking suggest that higher quality spawning habitat was available. Northern pike likely made spawning runs into streams and ditches that had good spawning habitat and were connected to Indian Lake. The northern pike fingerlings that are being stocked once every three years are not showing up in the catches; therefore, consideration will be given to the altering the frequency and/or the size of northern pike stocked.

YELLOW PERCH The 2014 catch rate of 5.0 per gill net is within the expected range of catch rates of similar lakes, but is the lowest catch rate observed since surveys began in 1987. Yellow perch catch rates have varied from 36.5 per gill net in 1987 to 5.0 per gill net in 2014, and have averaged 14.7 per gill net since 1987. Yellow perch ranged in length from 7.6 to 10.9 inches and averaged 9.2 inches. In an effort to increase the brood stock of yellow perch in Indian Lake, 750 pre-spawn adult yellow perch were stocked in April of 2014.

OTHER SPECIES Over the last decade, black bullhead catch rates have been below the expected catch rates for similar lakes. In 2014, the trend of low black bullhead abundance continued as bullheads were captured at a rate of 2.8 per trap net. Black bullheads ranged in length from 10.0 to 13.5 inches and averaged 11.6 inches.

Common carp abundance increased from 1.0 per gill net in 2010 to 3.3 per gill net in 2014, which is the second highest catch rate of common carp since surveys began in 1987. The 2014 catch rate is higher than the long term average of 2.4 per gill net, but within the expected range of catch rates for similar lakes (1.0 to 13.8 per gill net). Common carp lengths in trap nets and gill nets ranged from 8.6 to 35.9 inches, with most of them being greater than 25.0 inches in length.

The 2014 catch rate of bigmouth buffalo (3.3 per gill net) was the highest catch rate observed since surveys began in 1987, but was within the expected range of catch rates for similar lakes (0.8 to 7.0 per gill net). Bigmouth buffalo ranged in length from 7.7 to 27.6 inches and averaged 20.5 inches.

Freshwater drum were first sampled in Indian Lake in the 1996 survey. Since then, the abundance of freshwater drum has consistently stayed within the expected range of catch rates for both trap nets (0.2 to 3.3 per trap net) and gill nets (0.5 to 8.3 per trap net) for similar lakes. The 2014 catch rates were also within this range at 5.7 per gill net and 0.4 per trap net. Freshwater drum can be problematic because they can predate on game fish, or compete with game fish for prey resources.

One, 25.2 inch channel catfish was sampled in the gill net. This is the first time a channel catfish has been sampled since 2000.

Other species sampled included white sucker (N=26).

Plants in the water and at the water's edge provide habitat, prevent erosion, and absorb excess nutrients. Shrubs, trees, and woody debris such as fallen trees or limbs provide good habitat both above and below the water and should be left in place. By leaving a buffer strip of natural vegetation along the shoreline, property owners can reduce erosion, help maintain or improve water quality, and provide habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.

Best management practices within the watershed (no-till farming, cover crops, buffer strips, targeted fertilizer application, reduced or metered tiling) would help reduce nutrients entering the lake. High nutrient and sediment input can cause algae blooms and reduce overall water quality. Any improvements in the watershed are likely to have positive impacts on the fishery.

Prepared by Jonah Dagel

For more information on this lake, contact:

Area Fisheries Supervisor
175 Co Rd 26
Windom, MN 56101-1868
Phone: (507) 831-2900
Internet: Windom Fisheries

Lake maps can be obtained from:

Minnesota Bookstore
660 Olive Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-3000 or (800) 657-3757
To order, use C2911 for the map-id.

For general DNR Information, contact:

DNR Information Center
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
TDD: (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR

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    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093